“This is the year I need to make my move. I know that. This is the year I need to do something, make a name for myself.”
So said 17 year old Melanie Oudin at the beginning of the year, when her biggest win was a clutch, 3-set victory over Argentine Betina Jozami to keep the US alive in the first round of Fed Cup. At Wimbledon she’s proven to be a woman of her word: Melanie Oudin is making a name for herself.
Today the #124 ranked Melanie beat #6 seed Jelena Jankovic in the third round of Wimbledon, coming back from a set down: 6-7, 7-5, 6-2. She had to play twice as hard as Jelena just to make it on court this Saturday – coming through three rounds of qualifying and two tough three-setters in the main draw.
“I’ve always been mentally tough on the court, not letting anything bother me on the outside, just focusing and keeping my face on the strings.” Melanie said after today’s win.
Melanie kept her face smashed against the lexilon – forgetting about squandering set points in the first set, pretending she wasn’t facing a top 10 player for the first time in her career, and brushing off the 13 minute medical time out that JJ took for exhaustion and “woman problems” before the second set. (Jankovic gave a sour press conference after the match, saying Melanie didn’t “have any weapons” and “doesn’t do anything” on court.)
Oudin faces a more accomplished version of herself in Agnieszka Radwanska in the Round of 16. Oudin has a chance and the right attitude:
Q. On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 is clear reality and ten is fantasy, dream, what number do we have here?
MELANIE OUDIN: Well, I’m going to answer that after the tournament’s over, because it could get higher as the tournament goes on.
Go Melanie! I’m hoping you hit a 10.